Windows 7 equals some strange math

In many ways, Microsoft's decision to keep the Windows 7 name was entirely logical.

It was the product's code name, something relatively simple, and it is generally seen as a lucky number (at least here in the United States).

But to arrive at the number 7, Microsoft does some strange math, as general manager Mike Nash outlined in a blog posting Tuesday. Nash writes:

The very first release of Windows was Windows 1.0, the second was Windows 2.0, the third Windows 3.0.

Here's where things get a little more complicated. Following Windows 3.0 … Read more

New Firefox beta even faster than FF3

Mozilla fans can now play with the anticipated speedier JavaScript engine in the first beta for Firefox 3.1, as well as explore improvements to the Smart Location Bar and a slick interface for hotkey tab switching. Now available for Windows, Mac, and Linux users, the new JavaScript engine, called TraceMonkey, is not turned on by default.

To activate it, type "about:config" into the Smart Bar, then type "javascript.options.jit.content" into the filter. Double-click on the preference listed to change the boolean setting from "false" to "true." Close the … Read more

Linux-to-BlackBerry sync tool goes beta

Information Appliance Associates, the creator of the original Mac-to-BlackBerry sync solution (also known as PocketMac for BlackBerry), announced on Tuesday a beta release of the first tool to sync Linux user data to the BlackBerry. The tool is dubbed "PocketMac for BlackBerry Linux Edition."

This beta version is the result of more than 18 months of development and testing; it's now open to the public for more input before a final version is created. The beta period starts Tuesday and is limited to a set number of users; if you're interested, you'd better sign up now.… Read more

Half baked: 45 percent of Google projects in beta

Google has an infamous propensity to keep projects in beta for an unusually long time, and now somebody has gone to the trouble of quantifying just how widespread the testing tag is at the Internet giant.

"Of the 49 Google products we could find, 22 are in beta. That's 45 percent," not including Google Labs projects, according to a Wednesday blog post at Pingdom, a Web site performance monitoring company. "We're so used to seeing the little 'beta tag next to the various Google product logos that we almost don't register it anymore. We … Read more

E-mail, photo programs stripped from Windows 7

Microsoft has decided that Windows 7 won't include built-in programs for e-mail, photo editing, and movie making, as was done with Windows Vista, CNET has learned.

The software maker included Windows Photo Gallery, Windows Mail, and Windows Movie Maker as part of Vista, but later chose to offer separate downloadable Windows Live programs that essentially replaced those components with versions that could connect to online services from Microsoft and others.

Microsoft told CNET News late Monday that it has decided to remove those features entirely from Windows 7 and instead offer only the service-connected Windows Live versions … Read more

FriendFeed solves noise problem with redesign, duplicate roll-up

On Thursday afternoon social aggregator FriendFeed pushed out its new look to all its users.

Several things have changed since the company launched its beta program late last month, with the biggest being the look and feel of the site, including a change in navigation from the top of the page to the left side. The heart of the service still lies in linking up various sites you use, but as part of the re-design the FriendFeed post box was also given an overhaul with the inclusion of photo hosting.

The biggest change besides the look is one of the … Read more

Google offers cutting-edge Chrome, first update

Through a new developer program, Google is letting people try the latest versions of its Chrome Web browser, and the first update is available.

Those who want the newest Chrome versions can install the Google Chrome Channel Chooser software from Google's Chrome Dev Channel site. The switcher lets people choose whether they want the latest cutting-edge Chrome builds or the less frequent but more stable beta versions.

"Google Chrome now provides a way for people to get early-access releases automatically: the Dev channel," said Chrome Program Manager Mark Larson in a Chrome mailing list posting late Monday … Read more

New Opera beta sports e-mail, feed changes

For right now, the future of Opera--the browsing alternative to the browsing alternative--doesn't look a whole lot different from the present. Keeping in mind that this isn't a stable release, Opera 9.60 beta 1 for Windows and Mac looks to add a few feature tweaks and claims to be faster.

The most intriguing improvement looks to be a "low bandwidth mode" for Opera Mail. In a not-so-subtle attempt to attract users who are concerned about bandwidth restrictions, especially those who use Comcast in the United States for their ISP, this mode offers different things to … Read more

Buzz Out Loud 800: It took 800 episodes, but we've finally arrived!

Well, OK, we won't have arrived until someone gets Kevin Rose to blog about how The Beatles are totally coming to iTunes on September 9, quoting an "anonymous source" (us!). Also, Brian Tong joins us for our historic discussion of the Google Chrome Web browser, lava rock problems in Hawaii, the extreme resource hoggery of IE8 Beta 2, and just how boring Spore will actually be. Listen now: Download today's podcast EPISODE 800

Apple Store in Hawaii still not open

Meet Chrome, Google’s shiny new browser … Read more

FriendFeed unleashes new look, new features (in beta)

FriendFeed has just made available a new look for users who want to give it a spin ahead of its launch to the general public. Users who visit will see the slightly new look that may not seem all that different from the old version, but frequent users will notice a slew of updates the greatly improve the service's social experience.

One of the big new features is the inclusion of photos. You can now post a photo, not just text or a link. Previously the service would pick up photos from some items like from … Read more